AWT News Update: May 5, 2015

Happy Cinco de Mayo - today's Apple news covers the gamut from Watch-controlled cars to executive compensation, with a little Apple Pay and accessibility thrown in for good measure:

  • Owners of VW automobiles with Car-Net will soon be able to use their Apple Watches to do a great many things with their cars
  • More banks and credit unions have been added to the list of institutions supporting Apple Pay. Have a Simple account? You can now add your debit card to Apple Pay.
  • Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts was the top-paid US female executive last year
  • Apple's revised streaming service based on Beats Music will most likely be unveiled at WWDC on June 8, despite reported issues with licensing
  • Blogger Molly Watt, who has Usher Syndrome and limited sight and hearing, recently reported on the features she uses to navigate the Apple Watch. Her review can be found here.

The full text version of the podcast script is available below.

Text Version

Steve Sande here from Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for May 5, 2015. Many thanks to our sponsor this week, Rage Software, developers of EverWeb — a powerful website development tool for Mac. Take advantage of a 20% off special offer for Apple World Today readers by clicking the Everweb banner on the website.

If you have a 2014 or 2015 Volkswagen equipped with Car-Net, you’re going to be really happy if you also own an Apple Watch. An upcoming update to the Car-Net app will let owners remotely lock and unlock doors, view the status of doors, windows and sunroof, get directions to the vehicle, and the ability to honk the horn and flash the lights, all with a few taps on an Apple Watch. The app can also let you know if drivers in your household have gone faster or further than they’re allowed to go, and those with gas or TDI Clean Diesel engines can remotely check their fuel level. Those who have the electric e-Golf can check their current charge level, estimated driving range, turn charging on and off, and also access climate control features. It’s enough to make you buy a VW, isn’t it?

Another 24 banks and credit unions have joined the list of more than 200 American financial institutions supporting Apple Pay with their credit and debit cards. One of the latest additions is the Bancorp Bank that’s behind Simple, a very popular online banking service. In other news, a number of Apple sites were reporting today that Home Depot was going to stop accepting Apple Pay. That news is wrong; according to Bloomberg, the big box do-it-yourself home improvement retailer will actually be officially supporting Apple Pay in the very near future.

There’s no glass ceiling at Apple. Bloomberg is reporting that Apple’s Angela Ahrendts, the new retail chief at the company, was the highest paid female executive in the United States last year, pulling down approximately $82.6 million. That’s more than Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyer made last year — just a measly $59.1 million — and definitely more than the lady in the number two spot, Oracle Corporation’s Safra Catz who made $71.2 million. Ahrendts’ compensation includes a signing bonus for joining Apple, and a special payout to make up for the stock she missed out on by leaving her CEO position at Burberry.

Although Beats Music is currently one of the smallest music streaming services around, Apple is expected to revamp the service soon and tie it closely into iOS. The service may be announced on June 8 at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, although there were reports that the company is having issues getting licensing deals ironed out with major record labels. When launched, the revised Beats Music is rumored to be a subscription-based service built on the existing Beats framework that will cost at least $10 per month for unlimited streaming music.

And now for an Accessible Apple update with news from our accessibility editor, Alex Jurgensen:

Blogger Molly Watt, of, took to her blog last week to share her first impressions of the Apple Watch. Molly has Usher Syndrome, a condition that limits her ability to both hear and see. Her post is a great overview of the Apple Watch, highlighting the accessibility features she uses to navigate the watch. Here’s a link to her review.

We’ll be back tomorrow with another AWT News Update.